GQ editor Mickey Rapkin has written a book called Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. If that wasn't funny enough, it turns out that practically half the world has a shameful a capella singing-group past! And he names names—including Osama Bin Laden.
Osama Bin Laden sang in an a cappella group. Lawrence Wright, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower, writes of Bin Laden's teenage years and the man's "desire to die anonymously in a trench in warfare." "It was difficult to hold on to this self-conception while being chauffeured around the kingdom in the family Mercedes," he writes. "At the same time, Osama made an effort not to be too much of a prig. Although he was opposed to the playing of musical instruments, he organized some of his friends into an a cappella singing group. They even recorded some of their tunes about jihad, which for them meant the internal struggle to improve themselves, not holy war. Osama would make copies and give them each a tape."
The below a capella celebs mostly make sense—that Dawson's Creek guy? Blossom?
Anne Hathaway ("The Devil Wears Prada") — Vassar's Measure 4 Measure
Art Garfunkel - Columbia Kingsmen
Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite") — Harvard Veritones
Ed Helms ("The Office") — Oberlin Obertones
Mayim Bialik ("Blossom," "Beaches") - UCLA Shir Bruin
James van der Beek ("Dawson's Creek") - Drew 36 Madison Ave.
*Jessica Biel was rejected by the Tufts Amalgamates because her voice didn't blend. Debra Messing and Brooke Shields were also rejected by a cappella groups.
Journalists, we didn't forget about you:
Andy Bowers (NPR) - Yale's Society of Orpheus & Bacchus
Laurie Dhue (FOX News, Bill O'Reilly, has a segment "The Dhue Point") - University of North Carolina Loreleis
Kurt Eichenwald (New York Times) - Swarthmore College 16 Feet
Diane Sawyer - Wellesley Blue Notes
Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly) — Duke
[Photo: non-celeb a capella group Jones & Co Quartet, who will "make your next party, show, awards night, conference or any event an entertaining and fun time for all your guests."]